Help People by Learning to Code for Free

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The need for programmers is sweeping companies around the world. However, there is a shortfall of qualified coders out there. More and more people are teaching themselves to code online, but lack the professional experience to find employment in the field.

Free Code Camp addresses this issue by allowing new programmers to volunteer for non-profit organizations around the globe to hone their skills by building apps. Unlike some of the other expensive and time consuming bootcamps, this is entirely free.

Students learn web development, JavaScript, Angular and Node from online tutorials, including Stanford University online courses and Codecademy videos.

There is quite a time commitment involved, so this program is only for the highly motivated. The training qualifications take about 800 hours and the volunteering is another 800 hours. However, this has not deterred the more than 30,000 students who have completed the courses, many of whom became professional programmers afterwards.

For example, Branden Bryers, a former stay at home dad, completed the course, including volunteering work for Free Code Camp itself, later securing employment at a software company.

Others, like Cristián Berríos Vergara, already had a background in programming, but were looking to get into a new part of the field. He was a former embedded systems programmer who sought a job in web development. Free Code Camp gave him the structure he needed to progress in this endeavor, earning him a consulting job in Houston after a volunteering placement with Kopernik, a sustainable technology NGO.

Founder Quincy Larson has big plans to expand Free Code Camp. He hopes to provide a job matching service in the future and improve its peer learning platforms. It currently uses Slack and Facebook, but he hopes to continue to find ways to help self-learners reach their goals and connect with one another.

Source: Klint Finley, Wired